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TCNJ students, alum named finalists for 2023–24 Fulbright U.S. Student Award

Maeve Franklin ’23, Serina Montero ’23, and Jennifer Choi ’18, MAT ’19 were recently named Fulbright Finalists for the 2023–24 academic year. They will participate in the English Teaching Assistant Program, which places teachers in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Fulbright Finalists are selected from thousands of applicants based on the strength of their proposals and their academic records. The prestigious award allows American students to study in the host country of their choosing.

Here’s what they had to say about what the next year has to offer:

TCNJ students, alum named finalists for 2023–24 Fulbright U.S. Student AwardSerina Montero ’23, interactive multimedia major
English Teaching Assistantship in Spain

“I’m going to the Universidad Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid in September and will be there until June 2024. I applied for a Fulbright because traveling and studying Spanish have always been a dream of mine. Due to transferring schools and the pandemic, I never got to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, so the Fulbright feels like the perfect end to my college career because traveling abroad and immersing myself in Spanish has been a dream of mine since middle school. I hope that I come back as a fluent Spanish speaker and that I grow my knowledge of digital media through teaching others!”

TCNJ students, alum named finalists for 2023–24 Fulbright U.S. Student AwardJennifer Choi ’18, MAT ’19, TESL certification ’22
English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea 

“As a Korean American who has never been to Korea, I have long been interested in the opportunity to teach English there. Having grown in my personal investment in my heritage in recent years, especially in the form of relearning Korean as an adult, I thought about how I could reconcile my newfound passion for language learning with my career as a teacher and decided to pursue teaching English as a Second Language. The Fulbright ETA grant is a great opportunity for me to develop experience in teaching English abroad before continuing the work upon my return to the U.S. During my Fulbright experience, I hope to gain practical skills and knowledge to effectively teach English to non-native speakers, as well as a more nuanced understanding of Korean culture and history that I hope will inform my own journey of heritage reclamation.”

Maeve Franklin ’23, psychology major with a minor in Chinese, was offered an English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan. More information was not available as of press time.

About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program 

The Fulbright student finalists are among the approximately 2,100 U.S. citizens who earned funding to study, conduct research and teach abroad during the 2023–24 school year. Recipients are selected based on their academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential. The Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants the opportunity to study abroad since its inception in 1946. The primary source of funding is appropriated by Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The participating governments and host institutions along with corporations and foundations also provide support. 

— Emily W. Dodd ’03